A survivor from a mass shooting in a New Zealand mosque by an alleged white supremacist terrorist said that a man ‘wrestled the shooter’s gun out of his hands’ in a ‘bid to save lives’.
Syed Mazharuddin spoke about how his fearless friend risked his life to tackle the white supremacist shooter who killed seven at the Linwood mosque after claiming the lives of 41 people at another nearby mosque in Christchurch minutes before.
Syed told the New Zealand Herald newspaper that a ‘young guy who usually takes care of the mosque’ tackled the gunman.
‘The hero tried to chase and he couldn’t find the trigger in the gun … he ran behind him but there were people waiting for him in the car and he fled.’
Mazharuddin said one of his friends had died at the scene, while another was left bleeding heavily as he tried to contact emergency services.
‘I ran out and then the police came and they didn’t let me come back in again, so I couldn’t save my friend, he was bleeding heavily,’ he said.
‘It took almost half an hour, more than half an hour by the time the ambulance could arrive and I think he must have died.’
The gunman wrote of taking revenge for the ‘thousands of European lives lost to terror attacks’, adding: ‘I have read the writings of Dylan Roof and many others, but only really took true inspiration from Knight Justiciar Breivik.’
One woman told of her friend’s young daughter being shot through the heart while others described the ‘blood-curdling screams’ of worshippers fleeing in panic.
The suspected gunman, 28-year-old Brenton Tarrant, had live streamed one of the attacks on social media and had also published a chilling 74-page manifesto online, claiming he was inspired by Norway mass murderer Anders Breivik before the killings.
Khaled Al-Nobani, a survivor of the shooting at the Al Noor mosque, told the Herald that a man tried to take the gun from the shooter at that mosque, but the gunman ‘shot him straight away.’
New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern described the attacks as ‘one of New Zealand’s darkest days’.
Authorities say 41 people were killed at Masjid Al Noor Mosque, and another seven at Linwood’s Masjid Mosque in Christchurch at around 1.40pm local time. One more died in hospital.
New Zealand Police commissioner Mike Bush confirmed that a man in his late twenties had been charged with murder and will appear in court tomorrow.
He said police were still trying to establish if the other three people arrested were involved, though one likely had ‘nothing to do’ with the attack.
Police also say they had to defuse a number of improvised explosives which were found on nearby booby-trapped cars following the bloodbath.